Even though former head coach has given up the reins of after 12 years, her heart and soul will remain with the York High softball team.
As Seevers was rounding third and heading for home, I was able to get the departing coach to answer a few questions. I steered away from the statistics, however it’s hard to ignore any coach who nearly joined the 300-win club, had winning records in 10 of 12 seasons, found herself and the team at the state tournament six times, and finished with a career record of 280-108 (.723). It’s a tough resume to match.
Enough of that for now.
Seevers was asked how she became the Duke coach.
“After a group of parents was instrumental in getting the school board to approve the sport, Lorraine Grenfell gave me a call and said ‘I think you should be the York softball coach’,” Seevers said. “I thought she was kidding.” Apparently she wasn’t because when the fall rolled around Seevers was the coach and remained through the 2019 campaign.
After 12 years of service, you must have had some very happy moments.
“When you see a player struggle with something, watch them become coachable and work hard to achieve, and then see them succeed is the very best,” Seevers said. “Also, when we won our first district championship in 2012, that was pretty special knowing our kids were buying into Duke softball.”
On the other side of the spectrum, Seevers indicated that is was sad when she saw the disappointment in the players’ eyes when the team didn’t quite accomplish those goals which were set.
How was it to be a mom-coach for your daughters?
“I am so blessed to have been able to coach my daughters,” Seevers added. “Even though they are as stubborn as I am and there were times that we didn’t see eye-to-eye, most of our time together on the ball diamond was something special. I will never forget the memories we made.”
All so often, coaches have said that it was difficult to deal with player and parent drama; and on occasion I would ask Seevers if she had a problem with such situations.
“I feel like most of the kids we coached were on a mission once they bought into the program’s goals,” coach said. “Softball is a very fast season and I told them every year, we literally don’t have time for the drama and the stages it can bring to a team. So, just don’t bring it. I’m not saying this eliminated all of it, but I think the gist of it was that our program wasn’t going to accept it.”
What one life lesson have you learned from coaching the Dukes?
“Let the critics be critics and the haters be haters,” Seevers stated firmly. “My job was to focus on what is best for the players and the program and that’s what matters. My circle of friends shrunk with my coaching decisions but the relationships built with most of the players are more important than worrying about what others think of me.”
And last but not least.
Do you see yourself returning to the coaching ranks in softball or any sport?
“At this point, I am very excited on focusing on my own kids, spending time with them, and watching them grow. So, no, I have not thought about going back to the coaching world.”
So as Danyel and her husband Phil hang up their lineup cards and volumes of statistics and records, they will be off to watch both Karlee and Abbey play softball at the college level. Son Ryan, who has been one of the greatest cheerleaders for Duke softball since he was three years old, will now be able to get a lot more attention from his parents and siblings as he participates in football, basketball and golf.
As the primary PA announcer for York softball over the past eight years, I came to realize how special her contribution was to the Duke program. Players, fellow coaches and fans will miss her significant contribution to York softball.
--Congratulations to Reed Malleck and his signing with the Huskers to play on the men’s golf team following his graduation in May. It looks like Mark Hankins is assembling a great crop of golfers in his second year as the head coach.
--At halftime of the Class B state football championship game last Monday, it was great to see two area student athletes honored with the NSAA Believers and Achievers Award for academic and activity excellence.. Honored were Heartland’s Odessa Ohrt and York’s Lindsey Stuckey.
--While the Husker football team continues to rebuild for the future, the Nebraska volleyball team continues its run of excellence. As playoff action begins this weekend at the Devaney Sports Center, I am hoping for a pair of victories in Friday’s and Saturday’s first and second rounds of the NCAA Division I volleyball championship. Even though I support Big Ten volleyball, it wouldn’t disappoint me if the Huskers won twice and No. 5 seed Wisconsin came up short. That would enable the No. 5 seed Husker volleyball team and its fans a second weekend of championship action in Lincoln. Go Big Red!
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